Episode 121

Foundations for an Exceptional Client Experience

June 28th, 2023


Hello I’m Nicole Smith COO, Operations Specialise and Systems Designer from The Artisans Business Solutions and welcome to Take Control With Nicole. In today’s episode, I’m diving into what every business needs, clients. But more importantly, I’m talking to you all about your client experience.
We dive into:
  • Understanding our clients and how we want them to feel
  • Making your experience unique
  • Special touch points within the experience
  • Empowering your team for consistency

Connect with Nicole on Instagram @theartisansolutions 
Nicole’s website: https://theartisans.com.au/
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Welcome to Take Control with Nicole. As business owners, we experience firsthand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you’re looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go.

Hello, I’m Nicole Smith, COO, Business Operations Specialist and Systems Designer at The Artistans Business Solutions, and welcome to Take Control with Nicole. Today, we are going to shine that spotlight on something that is important to each of us in business. To be a successful business, we need clients, that’s the black and white of it. Now, when we are working with our clients, we have this beautiful opportunity to shape the experience that aligns with you as a business owner with your brand, what and how you want your clients to feel.

So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today, client experience. Now, we may or may not know, but let’s touch on it again. Client experience is the perception of a client’s personal experience or their interactions with you as a business, as a business owner, as a team and all the things in between. So, when we initially come to work with someone, there is an idea of how they will operate. There’s a perception from the moment. Now when they walk in through that door virtually or physically. Now we have that chance to continually shape that experience so that that success is measured, that you feel that you’re supported. That whatever it might be that your core values are about, that you can actually translate that from a piece of paper or a plaque on the wall to an actual feeling and experience that you are creating that opportunity for your people on the other side of your business location.

So, how do you actually create your unique experience? Now when you first start business or at any stage, we’re always looking for inspiration for Joe next door, for Sally over there, for Fred doing his fabulous things over in that business. And it’s wonderful to do that. But when we’re creating and curating your own unique experience, the most important thing is you and your business. If you’re looking externally to replicate something that doesn’t align, that feels a bit clunky, that just doesn’t really like, you kind of like yeah, I’m not sure about that. I can 100% tell you the experience and the other end is gonna be exactly the same. And then all of a sudden, this beautiful work that you’ve been doing, this energy you’ve been investing to grow in your brand and your personal brand and on the socials and doing all the operations here behind will be dampened. So let’s, let’s shine that light on it.

If you’re watching the recording on the video, there’s literally light flooding through my window. So perfect timing. So, where do we start? The first thing to do is actually have a look at who are our clients? Who are they? How are we supporting them? Where are they working? What do they do? What potentially, who are they as humans? What did they like to do? Who were they surrounded? Where do they hang out all those things? What are they looking how they’re looking to work with us? Or how are they? Or will they be working with us? Capture all that information. Now then we know who our people are, we know who those humans are. How do we want them to feel?

So, that is where the experience, it’s all about the feeling. I feel supported. I feel celebrated. My business feels this, that and the other. Right? So, let’s lean into that feeling. How do you want them? I know for us that The Artisans, our primary feel motive is ‘surrounded and supported’. When our people, our humans, our clients feel that you can see all the things are clicking in and the connection phase of our four phase, you know discovery which talking now this is the discovery phase people. Discovery, design, create, connect, each stage of your felt like you’ve been supported. It’s just a beautiful experience.

Anyway, let’s go back here to discovery, phase one. That’s what we’re doing. We’re investigating, we’re collecting information. Next point is, what makes you different or what makes your experience different. Now there are lots of experiences that you may have been through before that, have little moments of, as Suz Chadwick calls them, ‘surprise and delight’, a little gift or purchase, something like that – a mention on the stories, whatever it might be, what is it that makes your experience different? Take a moment, press pause, if you’ve got a flush of inspiration right now. What makes you different, what makes your experience different, we can be looking externally for inspiration till the cows come home.

But ultimately, it’s you and your business and the experience that you are creating for your clients. So, what makes a difference? Why did people scream from the rooftops and sing from the rooftops that they loved working with you and your team? What is that pop down? Now something to keep in mind with? Is your brand placement, connect this experience in because it is completely fed on through? Where are you in the market? So what level of business are you actually playing at I know, a little story that I shared with my my connections. The other week, I was at Waterman Business Center. And I walked up to get my coffee from the fabulous ro.. Robbie at the coffee shop there Chadstone. And there was another business colleague just standing there, never met them before. So, I just strike up a conversation Hey, how’s your day going, la la la. This particular day, I have to say I felt pretty, pretty fabulous. My dress was sparkling. It was not literally, but I felt great, good earrings on, headband was on point. Makeup was great, just felt super confident, had great shoes on. It’s not all about these things, but for me on that day, it was fabulous. And ah, said new human asked me if I worked for Chanel. And I took a moment. And I was like, Ah. Thank you. That is fabulous. I don’t but my business is a Chanel level business. Now that is the first time that had escaped my lips, from the three and a half years that we have been a business. So for me, if you aspire to that Chanel level experience, that top level experience, your customers should be feeling that as well. And so that feeds all the way through.

What is that experience? What level of experience are you wanting to create? Now, you won’t all be at the same, right? We’ve got businesses that cover all the things. And it’s all about, again, what makes you different for your clients? And how do you want them to feel has something we have just touched on actually is those sort of special touch point moments? So, what is it throughout the journey that really stops and get your clients to wow, that was unexpected. But that was fabulous. That was amazing. What a special moment. What are those little points that you have throughout your journey. Now again, it doesn’t have to be a sending of a gift, it could be a certain email, or you’ve created a space for them to really explore something that they’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time. Having that idea of again, what’s the your point of difference can allow you to really lean in and see these opportunities as they arise and be the human that and the business leader that you are looking to create and be to support your clients to be their very best.

Another little special moment could be, and I know that a lot of ecommerce businesses do this very well, collecting the data points at the start of their journey. So, name, address, email, date of birth. Now that little one, especially over in the service world, it’s not something we always create or collate. And I know from history, I used to have a file on the people that I would work with, I would have their name, obviously, their address, their all their details, their family name, wife, children, dogs, birthdays of all the people, so, that we as you know, as a person that is in somebody else’s space, can easily reach out and be like, Hey, happy birthday, have a fabulous day. If you’re in my realm and you want me to sing you a birthday song, send me your birthday, I’m gonna add it to my calendar. And I’ll send you a voice message. I love my singing voice messages. They’re so fun, as to people who get them, so you know, anyway, send me a birthday, I’ll send you a message. So, all of these points are points of data that are going to really help you to move through to that next phase of design.

Hey, they’re just interrupting this episode to share with you a guide that you are going to want to Explore. Are you a ClickUp user at the moment? Or have you been sitting on the fence and hearing me talk about it each and every week? And just wondering, what is the next step to tech? Well, I’ve created a guide that’s going to support you on your journey to really design your ClickUp Spaces, be able to create those and then connect them into the way that your business operates each and every day, my community have told me that this guide has been a game changer in the way that they really look at their Clickup workspaces, and operate each and every day. And you can access it as well. So pop on over to my website, the artisans.com.au backslash freebies, and access The Action Takers Guide to Clickup. How fabulous that you know, you’re ready to evolve your ClickUp journey, you’re ready to move from where you are right now, to where you have always known you want to be. Reached out, let me know I love to hear all about your journey and ClickUp. So, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

So, this is where we are going to be mapping out our client journey, our client experience. So, all the, all the phases that you’d go through from leads to onboarding, to working with our clients, to offboarding. And then following on as a community member, or a client after that as well. What does that actually look like for you and your business? Capture it as it’s working now. Notice the gaps and fill them, this is this opportunity, we have an opportunity at all stages to actually pause and reflect. We are doing that at the moment at The Artisans and we have been for the past few months, is we’re taking that next motion into grow our business. We’re in growth mode right now. So, it’s all about me growing as a leader, the business growing our team growing, how we’re working internally, and how that then supports our client experience. Ultimately, as a service-based business, we are here to support our clients. If our clients are not feeling that they’re supported, that’s a big flag.

So, what can we do to actually set some things in motion to set up processes and our systems in play to be able to remove any of the or eliminate or detract? What’s the right word, reduce probably is the right word, any of the areas that may not need human intervention, so, that we can then expel our energy or focus our energy on the places and points in the process that will benefit from that human touch. So, take that moment, map it out, it doesn’t have to look pretty, but if you’re in ClickUp, going out a whiteboard view, have fun, map it all out, let me know. Love to celebrate anything to do with process mapping. So, bring it on, let’s have a look. Once we have mapped that out, we know the experience that we’re wanting to create, we know how we’re going to support the clients and internally our things and ways of working.

The next really important thing, especially if you have a team, if you don’t have a team, you’ve got to train yourself, but empower your team and train your team to really connect in with this client experience journey. When you have that opportunity to sit down and say, Hey, team, Hey, guys, this is what we’re looking to shape and create here for our clients. Do you have any questions? Do you have any ideas? Any thoughts? How can you see this would be a natural way of working for you going forward? What resources do you need? Or is there any way that you may not feel comfortable in doing blah, blah, blah? Let’s talk about it. Open up that communication with your team. Once everyone is on board, ah, how fun. I always talk about you know, when you’re creating systems, it’s actually to support that consistency of experience for you and for your internal team, but more for the external humans, the people that are peering over the fence entrusted to work with you. But they’re not quite sure how maybe or they’re not sure what they experience and looking for that marker to say, hey, they’re my people. Let’s do this. They’re the people that I want to support with building sustainable work operating practices for my business. Yes, that’s right. We all come over and say hi, if you’re listening, they probably are. So come and let’s, let’s chat. But really having that opportunity to empower your team to really create that consistency across the experience from way all the way till the end. Now the thing’s live, you’ve documented it, you’ve implemented it, you’ve trained your team. Discover, design, connect, create, create, connect, even look around. Business Operations are never a set-and-forget action of your business. We are always checking in, how’s it going? Getting feedback from our clients with just in our business here. Fabulous. Kathy Rast has helped to shape the most beautiful testimonial case study feedback process for the business. And I’m so excited. We’ve used it for the first time recently, it was so beautiful and easy to actually capture that information. So, add that to your processes if you don’t have it already. But we’re able to actually check in with our people and iterate. If it’s not working. We’re not getting that experience feedback that we’re looking to get, what can we change? What can we shift? What can we move? It might be a micro action that changes or transforms the experience for your clients. And what a beautiful investment of energy, when you identify those points in the process that take the tiny little twist of a screwdriver, whatever it might be, a button in, Clickup, an automation in Zapier or Make, whatever it might be. And instantly, the experience has been transformed. What a great, ah, so great. So exciting.

Okay, so what are some actions that you can take today? Obviously, we’ve just gone through a lot of things, stuck up, above, previous, reverse, reverse, rewind, in this episode, on what you can discover and learn about your clients and the experience. But really, the really key thing to think about is what is important for you, as a business owner, that your clients will experience by working with you and your team? Have a moment to think about that. Once you have that answer. Come and have a look back at your process map. If you haven’t already. Do I have all of the tech, the applications, the automations in place, or in my radar, to create the experience and support your team to craft the experience? If not, we’re going to identify what’s missing. We’re going to create that action plan. And we’re really going to lean on in to focus on creating that beautiful client experience that I know as a business owner you want because I know we want it over here. It’s a core priority of what we’re doing in our business here. We, yes, we do clever systems, 100%. But our, what we’re looking to do and shape and how we support our clients is all client focused, how is that experience going to be shaped for them, and also for our team as well. Being able to really support our team to support our clients is just a beautiful place to be in when you reach that.

Well. That’s it for today, I hope you really enjoy exploring what a client experience can be for you. This is not business specific. It doesn’t matter if you’re a service-based business, a small business, a corporate thing, large business, ecommerce, whatever it might be, the client or customer journey and experience is a really fabulous place to just pause and have a reflection on right now. You might have something in operation, or it’s brand new, and you’re doing things naturally. But it’s not a fully formed process or system right now. Take that opportunity to create it. Because I can tell you what, as you continue to grow your business, that will be the foundations to really set you on your path.

Well, thank you so much for joining me today had the most fabulous rest of your week creating clever systems for your business. Bye now. Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on socials yet? If not, please come on over say hi, I’m on all the platforms at The Artisan Solutions. So, I’d really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today’s episode, don’t forget to tag me and I’d love it if you could leave a review. And of course, share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week. And until next time see you then



Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.